Skip to Sub Navigation
Main Content

Wells Building

Photo of the A.H. Wells Building

The Wells Building was designed by Henry Koch, and despite an ongoing modernization project, it maintains its historic charm. Prioritizing performance and comfort, the building owners took a holistic approach to renovations by scrapping outdated infrastructure and starting fresh with a new backbone to build off. As a result, the building now offers custom-built office suites and maintains its legacy as the most connected office building in Wisconsin, housing over thirty data and telecommunication carriers.

The Wells Building has had a longstanding relationship with the City of Milwaukee, previously working with the Me2 program to receive a grant that played a critical role in completing their HVAC retrofit. Because of their previous success working with the City, when Milwaukee took the Better Buildings Challenge pledge in 2012, the Wells Building was quick to join.

Photo of Eric NordeenRetrofitting older buildings while preserving historic architecture certainly brings challenges - it gets really expensive and it's hard to find the rental stream to generate adequate margins. The City's help was critical in getting our HVAC project done, which has allowed better building performance, a better experience for our tenants, and an economic benefit over time by saving money.
Eric Nordeen, Principal, Ascendant Holdings

Energy Performance

The ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® is not yet set up for the Wells Building, but it is expected that the account will be set up and shared in the near future to allow tracking of the building's energy consumption. However, based on the building’s records and estimations, they will be able to cut 17 million gallons of water consumption per year and reduce their energy consumption by 25% as a result of their efficiency upgrades.

The Wells Building looks forward to working with the Better Buildings Challenge to accurately benchmark the office energy data separate from the data center usage.

Completed Projects

Lighting Project Complete Icon Plug Loads and Controls Project Complete Icon Building Envelope Complete Icon HVAC Project Complete Icon Appliances and Equipment Project Not Completed Icon On Site Generation Not Completed Icon Water Project Complete Icon

Plug Loads
& Controls



& Equipment




  • LED lighting in lobby, common areas, and continuous replacement of old fixtures throughout the building

Plug Loads & Controls

  • Building Automation System and controls


  • Large, energy-efficient windows maximize daylighting


  • Efficient heating and cooling system


  • Low-flow bathroom faucets with motion sensors
  • New "closed loop" cooling system

Future Plans

The Wells Building is currently installing a new sprinkler system and is continuing to replace outdated fixtures and appliances as tenants move out. The building also plans to participate in the Better Buildings Challenge program's benchmarking event in August 2017.

Fast Facts

324 E Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Year Built

160,000 sq ft

Building Type
Mixed Use - Office, Retail, Telecom & Data Center

A.H. Wells, LLC (Ascendant Holdings, LLC)


Joined Pledge

20% reduction in Energy Use Intensity by 2022


Program Participation

Projects/O&M Icon Financing and Incentives Icon  


Project Types

Lighting Project Completed Icon Plug Loads and Controls Project Complete Icon Building Envelope Project Completed Icon
HVAC Project Completed Icon Water Project Completed Icon  


Project Highlight: HVAC

Installing a new energy-efficient heating and cooling system has allowed the Wells Building to save 17 million gallons of water consumption per year.


Building Contact

Eric Nordeen
Principal, Ascendant Holdings, LLC
[email protected]

Why Participate?

The Wells Building took the pledge to best utilize the program's resources, particularly financing programs like PACE. To create the type of building performance and quality experience desired for tenants, building management recognized that it would be crucial to benefit economically over time by saving energy.

Please wait while we gather your results.